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    Ventura County Public Works Agency Recognizes 2022 Top Employees of The Year

    News Release

    Each year, peers recognize fellow employees for their skills and outstanding job performance in the respective categories of operations and maintenance, office, and management     

    (VENTURA COUNTY, California)– Ventura County Public Works Agency (VCPWA) recently awarded Rick Cadena, Vimie Alvarez, and Manny Romero, as the three 2022 Employees of the Year for outstanding performance in their respective fields.  

    Rick Cadena Vimie Alvarez Manny Romero

    Celebrating 28 years at VCPWA and named Manager of the Year, Rick Cadena was recognized for his work and dedication to customer service. He began his career at VCPWA Watershed Protection as a Maintenance Worker II, working his way through the ranks, and eventually becoming Superintendent.  His job’s major roles include concrete and fence repair, service road grading and construction, vegetation management, and oversite of 23 PWA staff members.  

    “I was taught from a young age by my parents and grandparents that you should always come to work and do your job the best you can no matter what it is you do,” said Cadena. “It really was a great feeling to have my years of work recognized because I really do enjoy my job, and I really care about providing the best service possible to the citizens of Ventura County.”

    Rick Cadena with Director Glenn Shephard

    Awarded the Office Employee of the Year, Central Services’ Vimie Alvarez has been with VCPWA for 21 years, creating and developing new systems and automating financial reports to streamline the tedious reporting process. Alvarez also assists Joe Pope, Water and Sanitation Director, in making informed to  decisions regarding finances and maintaining consistent cash reserves. 

    Vimie Alvarez with Joan Araujo

    “For several seconds, I was stunned, but got thrilled and exhilarated as I stood up to receive the recognition,” said Alvarez. “I am earnestly grateful that management appreciated and recognized the contribution and the effort I made to provide the best possible financial tool to my department stakeholders.”  

    As a 22-year VCPWA veteran, Manny Romero was awarded Employee of the Year in the Operations and Maintenance category. Romero started at VCPWA as extra help, steadily climbed the ladder, and was recently promoted to Superintendent of Roads & Transportation. 

    Manny Romero with Director Chris Kurgan


    “I am most proud of my pride and perseverance to VCPWA. Job duties can sometimes get monotonous, so being able to persevere through difficult times has matured me both professionally and personally,” said Romero. “The recognition means so much to me knowing that the effort put into my work was not only recognized, but valued, it has been one of the proudest moments of my life.”    

    “Our team at VCPWA has many hardworking individuals, so choosing three of the best is increasingly difficult. In addition, this year’s Employees of the Year are role models who reflect our team’s Dedication to Innovation and Excellence and the PWA performance improvement programs to deliver the best work in the most cost-efficient way. We in the VCPWA management team are proud of these hardworking individuals,” said Jeff Pratt, Agency Director. 

    About Ventura County Public Works Agency   

    VCPWA strives to deliver innovative, efficient, and cost-effective regional services that are essential to the health, safety, natural resources protection, and economic vitality of Ventura County and its residents. Established in 1954, VCPWA employs approximately 400 employees and consists of five departments: Central Services, Engineering Services, Roads & Transportation, Water & Sanitation, and Watershed Protection.   

    VCPWA continues to receive nationwide attention for its effective operations in improving, innovating, and ensuring projects for Ventura County’s unincorporated 572 miles of roads, watersheds, levees, bridges, infrastructures, water and sanitation facilities and billing services.   


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